NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Palimpsest Series

BY PATRICIA AMORIM — In my Palimpsest Series, I explore cultural identity from a feminist perspective through self-portraiture, drawing inspiration from the concept of a palimpsest and the work of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta.

My self-portraits reveal how these cultural influences shape my identity, as enacted through my body, and how I perceive my identity in a cross-cultural context. The materiality and form of my art, using my own body, emphasise the complexities of subjectivity, situating my personal narrative within the intersection of gender and cultural identity. 

My body acts as a palimpsest, constantly rewritten with images and text that I project onto it, reflecting my experiences as a Brazilian contemporary artist living in Western Australia. Ana Mendieta’s art, which embeds her body with the landscapes of North and South America, informs my exploration as a woman navigating the cultural divide between Brazil and Western Australia, living on the boundaries of two continents.

Figure 2: Patricia Amorim (2023), Palimpsest Series II, digital photograph (Cotton Rag Printing), 33.1 x 46.8 cm.

Through my art, I engage with the themes of cultural identity and feminism by employing colour, contour, form, and gesture to investigate the cultural aspects inherent to both Brazil and Australia. My self-portraits reveal how these cultural influences shape my identity, as enacted through my body, and how I perceive my identity in a cross-cultural context. The materiality and form of my art, using my own body, emphasise the complexities of subjectivity, situating my personal narrative within the intersection of gender and cultural identity. 

Figure 3: Patricia Amorim (2023), Palimpsest Series III, digital photograph (Cotton Rag Printing), 33.1 x 46.8 cm.

Within this series, I use water as a visual metaphor to evoke the notion of the diasporic movement of people. Water becomes an integral element in my practice; its materiality serving as a visual language to express my diasporic experience.

Figure 4: Patricia Amorim (2023), Palimpsest Series IV, digital photograph (Cotton Rag Printing), 33.1 x 46.8 cm.

My series of self-portraits, emerging from my experiences as a Brazilian woman in Western Australia, explores the intersection of gender and cultural identity. Through my photographs, I delve into the recontextualisation of my identity, examining the cultural differences and similarities between Brazil and Australia. This exploration contributes to the broader discussion of intersectionality between culture, gender, and place. In this way, I approach my body as a palimpsest to explore how I am perceived as a Latin American woman in the territory I inhabit. As I shift between territories, I identify with the space between cultural boundaries, which puts my identity in transit. In this space, my body becomes a territory where I legitimise my complex mix of positionalities. 

Figure 5: Patricia Amorim (2023), Palimpsest Series V, digital photograph (Cotton Rag Printing), 33.1 x 46.8 cm.

Patricia Amorim holds a Fine Arts degree from Centro Universitário de Belas Artes de São Paulo and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Northampton, UK. Her work has been exhibited globally, including the UK, China, Brazil, and Australia. She’s a PhD candidate at Edith Cowan University, holding the ECU Higher Degree Research Program Scholarship.

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BY Carina Böhm, Didem Caia, Clare Carlin, Emilie Collyer, Ruth Fogarty
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BY JENNY HEDLEY – In this reflective essay, a time-poor single mother and PhD candidate accidentally takes on the role of basketball coach as she seeks to achieve balance between scholastics and life.
BY MICHAEL DONEMAN – Between is a reflection on loss and renewal. It interweaves personal, cultural, and environmental stories near the country where I live, by a waterway at the edge of the Boondall Wetlands called Cabbage Tree Creek.
BY CLAIRE WELLESLEY-SMITH – The use of textile as a creative recording method alongside my PhD (2023, The Open University) extended a practice I began in 2013. Stitch Journal is a long length of linen cloth, pieces added in sections.
BY SUSIE CAMPBELL – Before an unexpected brush with serious illness, the journey of my PhD research project seemed clear. I set out to engage with the avant-garde Modernist poetry of Gertrude Stein in order to draw on her experimental approach to language for my own processual model of poetic practice.
BY EMILY WOTHERSPOON – This piece is a reflection on how life, research, and creative practice become blurred and intertwined through the process of undertaking PhD creative writing practice research.
BY DANI NETHERCLIFT – This work, in alignment with the topic of my creative arts PhD regarding the elegiac lyric essay, is written with the conventions of the lyric essay, utilising white space, non-linearity, image, archive, fragment, association and braiding.
BY INDYANA HOROBIN – This is a short experimental article that engages with how life subsists within PhD study. It is styled as an interview with the self and is punctuated by interactions between the interviewers which descend into hostile conversations.
BY JENNY HICKINBOTHAM – Life didn’t GET IN to my PhD research, my life IS my PhD research.
BY KENDREA RHODES – This work is an audiovisual expression of the messiness of being me. A visual artist, a writer, doctoral researcher, and a psychiatric survivor.
BY ISABELLA G. MEAD – This creative response to ‘How Life Gets In’ details my experience maintaining a creative practice while also being a PhD candidate and a parent to young children.
BY LAINIE ANDERSON – Life didn’t get in the way of my PhD. Death did. Or more specifically, it was South Australia’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (2020).
BY DANTE DeBONO – ‘Degrees of separation’ is a reflective consideration of the ways in which creators navigate the complexity of their internal writing processes as unique configurations of their lived experiences.